Re: [asa] Noah's Ark- the debate over floods... and biblical interpretation

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Tue Apr 07 2009 - 16:08:17 EDT

Dick -

On the last paragraph: 1st, of course "fabrication" is a heavily loaded term. Having noted that, the answer to the question "would that not also call into question the theological lessons derived therefrom?" is "No." Again I'll cite Jesus' story of the Good Samaritan. There is no reason to think that the events Jesus describes actually happened (i.e., they may have been a "fabrication" in your terminology) - & more importantly, it doesn't make the slightest difference to the theological use Jesus makes of the story whether they really happened or not. Other examples could, of course, be given.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Dick Fischer
  To: 'Dehler, Bernie'
  Cc: ASA
  Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 2:44 PM
  Subject: RE: [asa] Noah's Ark- the debate over floods... and biblical interpretation

  Hi Bernie:

  You raise a valid point, one that I have asked myself for many years. The broad question is whether or not there was a flood, and if there was, when was it and what was the extent? I think that question can be answered readily. The question you raise is the accuracy of the account. Did the Bible writer get all his facts straight? If there are mistakes in the narrative, are there enough to discount or disbelieve the entire narrative in Genesis altogether?

  Compared to the parallel flood accounts the one in Genesis is the odd one out on the subject of duration. Parallel accounts describe a week long voyage while Noah's trip in Genesis takes a year. But whatever the case, mistake or not, scribal error or not, that is no reason to jump to some other position that can't be defended by anything.

  Rainy seasons are annual events in Iraq occurring in the spring when the snow melts on the mountains in the north and surges down the rivers on to the flat plain that is southern Mesopotamia. If there were two back to back flood episodes, and Noah chose to remain in the boat to ride out two rainy seasons, that could take a year and might explain the long voyage in Genesis versus the short voyage in the parallel accounts. I'm only throwing that out as one possible explanation.

  So, say my guess is wrong. In court trials where witnesses give their accounts of a crime they have seen rarely are all testimonies exactly the same. Perspectives differ, perceptions aren't the same, memories vary. Yet the judge or jury must decide guilt or innocence on the totality of evidence presented. Conflicting testimonies are normal and to be expected.

  I agree the primary focus should be on the theological lessons based upon the historical narrative. If the historical account was a fabrication, however, would that not also call into question the theological lessons derived therefrom?

  Dick Fischer, GPA president

  Genesis Proclaimed Association

  "Finding Harmony in Bible, Science and History"

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Received on Tue Apr 7 16:40:11 2009

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